By: Jasmine Kelly
According to Alice Walker, one of the definitions of a Womanist is as follows: From womanish. (Opp. of “girlish,” i.e. frivolous, irresponsible, not serious.) A black feminist or feminist of color. From the black folk expression of mothers to female children, “you acting womanish,” i.e., like a woman. Usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous or willful behavior. Wanting to know more and in greater depth than is considered “good” for one. Interested in grown up doings. Acting grown up. Being grown up. Interchangeable with another black folk expression: “You trying to be grown.” Responsible. In charge. Serious (Womanist Working Collective, 2020, p.1).
Whether you like them or not, the City Girls are here to stay. The City Girls embody Alice Walker’s definition because they are indeed audacious. Quite honestly they have to be. Black women have to be. It is what we have always been. I get it, Jatavia and Caresha (their real names) can be a lot to take in at times. However, in a bold, daring and overconfident manner, they speak up for what they want and encourage black women to do the same.
Audre Lorde, who was also a Womanist, once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” The City Girls are most certainly Womanists because through song, they constantly remind us that they put themselves first and society can’t stand it.
You know what I am talking about. Many people don’t like the City Girls not only for their rap lyrics but for who they are and what they represent. The City Girls are two Black girls from the inner city, who are vocal about their desires and what they won’t deal with from men. Society already does not like when Black women speak up but Black women from the ghetto? Chile please!
More than anything, I love what the City Girls have brought out in Black women altogether. As a matter of fact, I see many women on social media refer to themselves as “City Girls.” That means that we (Black women) know how to handle business and we also know how to turn up (for better or worse) if need be as well.
Yes, I know the City Girls may not the first thing you think of when you think of Womanism, but I urge you to do so. I urge you to expand your mind and think beyond respectability politics so you can make room for JT and Caresha because they are here to stay. Period.
Jasmine Kelly is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Jasmine is a higher education professional who believes in the powers of Black Twitter. You can follow her on Instagram @chicomydusty.